Thursday, 6 September 2007

CSI: Miami Watch: "High Octane"

We've fallen behind with CSI recaps already, with High Octane aired on UK's five last week, and Darkroom airing last night, but luckily for us, the latter was very bland, except for the odd moment of deranged insanity. Gives me time to have a crack at the nutty jet-fuel intensive installment from two weeks ago. The opening scene is a classic of OTT editing, noise, and outlandish crime. Street racers having a drift race near one of Miami's many marinas are coming up to the finish line, when one of them, a cocky son of a bitch, sticks his body out of his car's sunroof and steers with his feet. Very dramatic, until his head is sheared clean off by a stream of lightbulbs going across the street. It's wonderfully gruesome.

Even though it has all the hallmarks of a dumb stunt gone wrong, H knows better, and soon his team have to figure out whether he's right or not. Those H hunches, you've gotta love 'em. Well, either he is a precog a la Screaming Samantha Morton in Minority Report, or the crime rate in Miami is so out of control even human rights lawyers would recommend instigating martial law. Considering his 100% strike rate for appearing in front of the elevator at CSI HQ just as someone who needs to speak to him steps out, I'd say it's the former. And when he's finished solving crimes and filling bad guys full of lead, he goes home, puts on a skintight swimming costume, and sits in a bath of weird conductive goop. That's why he's so wrinkly now.

While inspecting the crime scene, Delko and Wolfe are approached by a documentarian who has been given permission to film our heroes. Perhaps it's easier than setting up stunts for Candid Camera. The top hunky crimestoppers are non-plussed about this, especially Wolfe, even though he spent season 4 hanging out with Erica Sykes, a stereotypical journalist with zero scruples, so hungry for a headline that she would sell out her own grandmother to the cops and then film the arrest. So of course he then agrees to help the journalist out. Whuh? This plotline is dropped almost immediately, but not before he can tell Natalia about it and then bring up her former career as a mole. Again. Natalia wears two fierce things in this episode. One, the worst blouse ever. Two, this bitchface.

God, I hate Wolfe. After being a pissy little bitch to her, he goes off to interrogate someone who sells tyres for drift-racing cars. One of the weird things about this show is how it accidentally portrays everyone in Miami as being morally compromised. The guy who sells the tyres sells them to teenagers, something Wolfe picks up on immediately, and makes a big obnoxious point about it. While he's talking to the evil tyre salesman he suddenly manifests Clooneyface. He does the thing where he swallows the latter half of his line and then stretches his neck upwards while pulling in his chin. You know the move I mean. Clooney does it all the time! He did it so often on ER it looked like he was addicted to eating really spicy burritos and had gas all the time.

Jonathan Togo, you may have worked with Clint Eastwood in Mystic River, but you are not, and never will be, even a billion quintillionth as cool as Gorgeous George. It's that simple. His interrogation leads them to the organiser of the race, played by Samaire Armstrong, who stunk up several episodes of The O.C., getting in the way of Summer and Seth's eternal true love yay! For this she gets no love from us. Calleigh interrogates her at CSI HQ, and even though Samaire's character is probably responsible for the murder, the thing she does that pisses Calleigh off most of all is leaving her phone on vibrate on the desk and then getting pissy because she's not allowed to answer it. This happens every time Calleigh interrogates her (about three times), and is a signifier of Samaire's guilt. Anyone thoughtless enough to leave their phone on vibrate and then insist on answering it during a police investigation must be a murderer! This may sound like I'm joking, but I'm not. This is the way the show rolls. Coincidentally, the building used for the HQ external shots was used for the external Newport Group shots in The O.C. Probably because it's all bendy and pretty.

After that Calleigh visits Delko, who has been tasked with fingerprinting every bottle of beer found at the race track. There are dozens, so he fits them on a rack in a smoke chamber. Boring enough, but there follows a gloriously stiff dialogue exchange between him and Calleigh that has to be seen to be believed.

Emily Procter's hair is a lot better than her fake laugh, I have to say. Once the hilarity is over, the bottles bring up the prints of a young kid who gets pressured to give up names of everyone involved in the crime, but even Horatio's patronising threats do nothing. Through some top detective work they find out the kid's dad, who I shall refer to as Suspicious Dad, called the cops about the drift race, ostensibly to save his ass. Good work, Suspicious Dad. H is thrilled by this and patronises him a whole bunch about looking after his kid. H, how about you get some kids of your own and see how hard parenting is instead of judging all of Miami. Ass.

Through lots of really uninteresting police work, the team come to the conclusion that not only were a lot of the drift cars stolen and sold by a snotty young guy called Luke (there are only victims and hoodlums in CSI: Miami), the death was staged by Samaire Armstrong, using a radio controlled doohickey to trigger the shocks on the car to raise it 16 inches, thus bringing the poor guy's head in line with the wire. Why did she do such a gruesome and ambitious thing? Was he cheating on her? Did he assault her years ago? Was he responsible for the death of one of her friends? No. She just thought footage of him having his head removed would increase awareness of the sport if she put the clip online. Damn you, YouTube! Is no one safe from your corrupting influence?!

Cut and dried, except that H has a hunch. He has no proof of any other crime being committed, but somehow he knows there's something else going on. Perhaps it's because there's still 20 minutes left in the episode. He sends Delko and Wolfe to talk to the kid with the Suspicious Dad, thinking he's involved with the radio controlled doohickey, and while they bicker between themselves in an incredibly unprofessional manner, a car bursts out of the garage behind them, with the hapless kid trapped inside!

Exciting! Turns out the car is being propelled by jet fuel, a fact illustrated by more whizzy special effects. As jet fuel is hard to come by, they realise someone is siphoning it off from, get this, high-pressure pipes that are situated five feet under the city. Jet fuel. Five feet underground. Hey everyone, let's all move to Miami. It's (potentially lethally) hott!

So who could be stealing $47000 worth of jet fuel? H and Tripp ponder this, and Tripp reels off a bunch of facts about how it couldn't possibly be Suspicious Dad, even though he excavates pools and has been implicated by a witness. He's so dumbfounded by the conflicting facts that he opts to wear this memorable face.

Inspiring. The cameras hold on him for so long it threw us totally. Ah, God bless you, you dumbass. Anyway, H doesn't need evidence. He knows it's Suspicious Dad as he dreamt it in his goop pool the night before. The rest of the team do a bunch of basic forensic work and find out that Luke is involved, and even worse, listens to Chamillionaire in his flash car! Why is it that, oftentimes, upon seein' me rollin', they are also, at the same time, hatin'? Only Chamillionaire knows. H tails Luke to an airfield, and there gets his first man.

That smile is a thing of beauty. During the arrest that implicates Luke with Suspicious Dad, H figures out that Suspicious Dad is not only stealing jet fuel, he's using it to power a plane filled with cars stolen by Luke that he then sells internationally. And, worse than that, he's a Bad Dad! H told him to look after his kid, but he actually doesn't care about his kid at all, only phoning the police about the race to distract Miami Dade PD while he siphoned off literally tens of thousands of dollars worth of fuel. AND he's transporting illegal goods while his son lies in hospital after driving out of his garage at a billion miles an hour. What a heartless bastard. Meanwhile, as H does his thing, Tripp goes into his fugue state again.

I'm beginning to think he needs help. They arrive at SD's plane, and upon seeing all of the police, SD does a brilliant, "DAGNABBIT!" gesture of frustration that I would put on here if I could figure out how to stream to YouTube. H tells him off for being a bad parent (that seems to be a worse crime than anything else), and as he is taken away by police, the camera rises up in triumph. H gets every man. You can't escape his vengeful, obnoxiously judgemental wrath.

High-Octane Stats:

Horatio's Send-Off Into Credits:

Wolfe: "Well, if this was a stunt gone wrong, how come everyone took off?"
Horatio: ::puts on glasses:: "Because this...was not an accident."
Roger Daltrey: "YEEEEEAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!"

Ripped-Off Plot of the Week: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, The World Is Not Enough, Highlander II: The Quickening.

Horatio's Most Patronising Line:

Luke the car thief: It's business. I fix cars.
Horatio: You fix up stolen cars, Luke.

Number of Caruso Two-Steps: 5

Snottiest Behaviour From Wolfe: Ignoring Natalia's friendly chit-chat about evidence so that he can bring up her past as a mole AGAIN, even though in season 4 Wolfe kept accidentally leaking information to the press. Ass-hat.

Most Ineptitude From Delko: A good week for Delko. He even managed to put out burning jet fuel with a bog-standard fire extinguisher. Minus points for wearing awful white shoes with his grey jacket and pants combo. Miami Vice was cancelled about 20 years ago, Delko, and that look is not coming back.

1 comment:

johnilf said...

be cool but an asshole... be David Caruso in Jade